Multiple income streams: 10 ways to earn extra money
Even small amounts can go a long way.
This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.
multiple streams of income can have a major impact on your finances.
Even an extra income of $500 each month could go a long way to paying
down debt or increasing your investments.
We often hear about the importance of diversifying our investments, but diversifying our income streams is just as important, particularly in difficult economic times. Let me show you just how valuable even an extra $500 per month can be. Then I'll list the factors to consider in deciding how to generate extra income, followed by 10 multiple-income-stream ideas.
- Bing: Find a part-time job
The value of a second income
Recently I was discussing with a friend the income I earn online, which now is about $1,500 per month. He asked why I get so excited about this income, given that it is a lot less than I make from my job. Here are several different ways to look at an extra $1,500 per month:
Savings account. To earn $1,500 a month ($18,000 per year) in a savings account at 4%, you would need to save $450,000.
Investment account. To earn $18,000 from investments at 10%, you would need to invest $180,000.
Employment. For many, to get $18,000 in raises could take several years of dedicated service to your employer.
Financial freedom. Extra income of $1,500 per month could cover car payments, help pay down credit card debt, or cover some or even all of a mortgage payment.
The point is that even relatively small amounts of extra income can go a long way.
What makes for a great source of extra income?
We could all go out and get a second job at Home Depot or Starbucks to earn some extra income. As you might imagine, however, that's not what I have in mind. When assessing how you can generate multiple income streams, consider these factors:
Flexible. The ideal source of extra income will allow you to call the shots when it comes to your time. Particularly if you have a full-time job, the last thing you want is being tied down to working a set number of hours each week at a second job.
Scalable. Look for income sources that have at least the possibility of generating substantial amounts of income.
Sustainable. The ideal extra income source will continue to generate cash even when you're not working at it. The idea is to build something that can eventually function without you.
Enjoyable. Generating additional sources of income is a lot of work, so you might as well enjoy what you're doing.
Inexpensive. I don't like income-generating ideas that require massive investment.
10 extra-income ideas
we get to some ideas about how to go about generating extra income. You
want to choose something that fits your interests and personality. You
may have certain skills, training and education that will dictate
what's best for you. So while this is not one size fits all, here are
10 extra-income ideas to consider:
Real estate investing.
While real estate investing does require some cash upfront, the
potential is enormous. And the current downturn in the housing market
is an ideal time to buy property. I write a separate real estate investing blog that describes my experience with buying and managing single-family rental properties.
It's now easier than ever to run an online eBay store. You can of
course acquire products to resell on eBay. But you can also create an
online store to market products that others are selling on eBay and
share in the commissions generated by the sales. To find more
information, check out the eBay Partner Network and the Build a Niche Store sites.
This may seem like a crazy time to start selling real estate, but in a
slow market a lot of the competition runs away. You'll need an initial
investment to obtain your real estate license, but over the long term
you'll have the potential to make substantial income.
Web site design.
With the continued growth of the Internet, Web site design has become a
growing industry. Unless you already have the know-how, you'll need to
spend some time learning the technology. But there are plenty of online
resources available, and the best in the business can earn a great
Graphic artist. There are a lot of ways to
generate money through graphics. Just the logo business alone could
keep you busy if you have the artistic skills necessary to develop cool
Virtual assistant. Virtual assistants
today can do just about anything for you that doesn't require their
physical presence. Many virtual assistants from places like India are
working full time for people in the U.S. The best VAs can earn $30 to
$50 per hour. The starting place if you are interested is Elance.
If you have a knack for writing, you can earn great money writing for
others. Not sure how to start? Contact bloggers who are always looking
for great writing. As blogs grow, they can afford to pay freelancers
good money for quality articles. Web sites looking to build links also
hire freelancers to write guest posts to be published on blogs and Web
Home business: The ideas and potential for a home
business are limitless. I know folks who have Creative Memories stores
or operate a video business or sound studio at their home. One of the
great benefits of running a home business is that it greatly reduces
your initial investment.
Develop and sell a product. I
have good friends who have designed a children's game and are in the
process of producing and marketing it. It's a lot of work, but they are
passionate about the work, and the potential payoff is huge.
Start a blog.
Making money online requires very little cash investment and can be
done on your schedule from home. This is one of the reasons I've
started a weekend series on how to make money blogging. I am in the process of walking through how to set up a site, and then I'm going to use my Credit Card Offers IQ site as a working example to show step by step how to generate extra income online.
Generating income (along with minimizing expenses) is the foundation of sound money management. While earning extra income does take work, its payoff can be huge. If you are interested to taking the leap, here are some additional resources to consider:
- "40+ alternative-income ideas and resources" at Moolanomy.
- "40 ways to make money on the Internet" at Dumb Little Man.
- "10 ways to translate your passion into additional income" at The Simple Dollar.
- "20+ free passive-income resources" at Life Optimizer.
Other articles of interest at The Dough Roller:
- 5 must-have WordPress SEO plugins for a moneymaking blog
- Online marketing for a home-based business
- My one money advice
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Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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